Administrative Services

EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

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Nebraska State Personnel Board Decisions

The following State Personnel Board Decisions regarding employee grievances have been summarized for informational use only.

1999

Brad Exstrom v. Nebraska Department of Correctional Services: (NAPE -- 10.1) Brad Exstrom filed a grievance, requesting that his disciplinary action issued by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services be removed from his record because of the decision of the Nebraska Supreme Court in McAllister v. Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. The parties agreed to have John P. Glynn serve as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 1997-99 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract.

The Hearing Officer found that the Appellant failed to present any evidence in support of his appeal.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the Hearing Officer that the grievance filed herein by Brad Exstrom be denied and that the actions of the agency be sustained.

David Jurgens v. Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services: (NAPE -- 10.1) David Jurgens filed a grievance appealing his termination by the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services. The parties agreed to have Robert W. Filbeck serve as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the 1997-99 NAPE/AFSCME and State of Nebraska Labor Contract. The Appellant failed to make payments as per the attorney-client agreement. The Appellant failed to communicate with the DAS-Employee Relations Division and failed to afford his signature to a consultant retainer agreement and failed to appear for the hearing.

The Hearing Officer cancelled the hearing and recommended that the State Personnel Board dismiss the appeal for the Appellant's repeated failures to cooperate fully in the hearing process.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the Hearing Officer that the grievance filed herein be denied and dismissed.

Margaret McClaren v. Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services: (Rules -- 4) Margaret McClaren filed a grievance claiming that the Department of Health & Human Services violated the Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations by appointing a Unit Manager for the Central Service Area on a temporary basis. The State Personnel Board appointed William J. Wood to serve as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations. At the hearing, the respondent noted that the only relief sought by the Appellant was to have the position opened through the competitive hiring process. It was noted that the position was opened, and the Appellant did apply for the job, but was not the successful candidate.

The Hearing Officer found that the Appellant received the only relief that she requested, and therefore, her appeal is now moot and should be dismissed.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the Hearing Officer that the grievance filed herein be denied and dismissed.

Steven Wilson v. Department of Health & Human Services: (Rules -- 4) Steven Wilson filed a grievance claiming that the Department of Health & Human Services violated the Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations by appointing a Unit Manager for the Central Service Area on a temporary basis. The State Personnel Board appointed Sherri Collins-Wimes to serve as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations. At the hearing, the Appellant alleged that the appointment was made without adhering to the Human Resources Policies and Procedures Manual, and was an unfair hiring practice.

The Hearing Officer found that the temporary position was vacated and the position was opened competitively for filling on a permanent basis, but the Appellant did not apply for the position. Since the Appellant did not appeal the permanent filling of the position, that portion of the appeal is moot. As for the claim of the unfair hiring practice, the Appellant must prove that the rules were violated, and he would have been placed in the position if rules had been followed. The Hearing Officer recommended that a hearing be held with the limited issues of unfair hiring practices and whether the Appellant should receive compensation for the duration of the temporary appointment.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the Hearing Officer that the Respondent's motion for dismissal be denied and the grievance hearing be scheduled for the earliest possible date.

Rudy Fiedler Classification Appeal to the State Personnel Board: Rudy Fiedler filed an appeal regarding the State Personnel Division's decision on a reclassification appeal.

The State Personnel Board ruled that the State properly applied the classification methodology in making its decision and the issues raised by the Appellant were taken into consideration by the State.

Rudy Fiedler v. Department of Environmental Quality: (Rules -- 14) Rudy Fiedler filed a grievance relating to a reclassification of his position by the Department of Environmental Quality. The State Personnel Board appointed Samuel Van Pelt to serve as Hearing Officer and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations. Prior to the case-in-chief, the Respondent's representative filed a Motion for Summary Dismissal, which was argued by the parties.

The Hearing Officer found that the issues relating to the job requirements of the position in question should be dismissed because the reclassification issue is not grievable, and that the Personnel Board had already ruled on this matter.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the Hearing Officer that the grievance filed herein be denied and dismissed.

George Vogel v. Department of Roads: (Rules -- 13) George Vogel filed a grievance claiming that the Department of Roads violated the Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations when he was suspended for five days and placed on six-months probation. The State Personnel Board appointed William J. Wood, to serve as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations. At the hearing, it was alleged that the Appellant had informed a building contractor that he could disregard the liquidated damages provision of his construction contract.

The Hearing Officer found that the agency failed to prove by at least a majority of the evidence, that the allegations against the Appellant were true. The Hearing Officer recommended that the appeal be affirmed, the discipline imposed be removed, and that the Appellant receive any and all back pay.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the Hearing Officer.

Melanie Glantz v. Nebraska State Electrical Board: (Rules) On its own motion, the Personnel Board conducted a hearing and dismissed this appeal as the appeal was not timely filed at third step.

Dr. Faisal Ahmed v. Nebraska Department of Correctional Services Appeals #1, #2 and #3:(Rules & Whistleblower Act) Dr. Faisal Ahmed filed three grievances, two requesting that disciplinary action issued by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services be removed from his record and one based on the State Government Effectiveness Act (Whistleblower Act). The parties agreed to have Samuel Van Pelt serve as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations. The Appellant was disciplined on two separate occasions and claimed that part of the action by the State was due to his contact with the Ombudsman's Office.

The Hearing Officer recommended that the first grievance be overturned and the discipline imposed be vacated. In the second appeal, the Hearing Officer recommended that the discipline stand. In regard to the Whistleblower case, the Hearing Officer found the agency violated the Act by counseling the Appellant on December 15, 1998, but did not violate the Act by suspending the Appellant on January 7, 1999, or by taking other actions as a result of the events on December 29, 1998.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decisions of the Hearing Officer.

The agency appealed the State Personnel Board's decision to District Court.

Linda Mueller v. Department of Health & Human Services Appeal: (Rules --13) Linda Mueller filed a grievance claiming that the Department of Health & Human Services violated the Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations when she was terminated. The State Personnel Board appointed Gary Burger to serve as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations. The Respondent charged the Appellant with five allegations of misconduct, including creating false records and receiving checks designated for clients.

The Hearing Officer found that the Respondent did not have just cause to terminate the Appellant, and as the agency lacked rules and regulations concerning the alleged violations, the Appellant was not given notice that her actions would constitute a violation.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the Hearing Officer that the action by the agency be overturned and the Appellant be returned to work with full back pay and benefits, and all disciplinary documentation be purged from the files.

The Respondent appealed the State Personnel Board's decision to District Court.  The District Court reversed the decision, and then the Court of Appeals remanded the case back to the Personnel Board.  The Personnel Board, following the consideration of evidence previously not accepted, reversed its original order and denied the appeal.

Brian Vanderzee v. Department of Health & Human Services Appeal: (Rules --13) Brian Vanderzee filed a grievance claiming that the Department of Health & Human Services violated the Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations when he was terminated. The State Personnel Board appointed William J. Wood to serve as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations. The Respondent charged the Appellant with 15 allegations of misconduct, including workplace harassment and providing false information.

The Hearing Officer found that the Respondent did have just cause to terminate the Appellant and showed by a preponderance of the evidence, that the agency head's decision was taken in good faith. The recommendation was to deny the grievance and uphold the agency's decision to terminate the Appellant.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the Hearing Officer that the action by the agency be upheld and the Appellant's termination be sustained.

The Appellant has appealed the State Personnel Board's decision to District Court.

Robert DeMoss v. Nebraska Investment Council Appeal #1: (Rules --13) Robert DeMoss filed a grievance claiming that the Nebraska Investment Council violated the Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations when he was issued disciplinary action in the form of a written warning. The State Personnel Board appointed Samuel Van Pelt to serve as Hearing Officer, and a hearing was held in accordance with the provisions of the State of Nebraska Classified System Personnel Rules and Regulations. The Respondent alleged the Appellant lost or misplaced a check in an amount over $500,000, and with the loss, cost the State $1,216.92 in interest.

The Hearing Officer found that the Respondent did have just cause to discipline the Appellant and showed by a preponderance of the evidence, that the agency head's decision was taken in good faith. The recommendation was to deny the grievance and uphold the agency's decision.

The State Personnel Board accepted the recommended decision of the Hearing Officer that the action by the agency be sustained.